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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/31

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xxv
INTRODUCTION.

declare qu'il y a longtemps qu'il remplit les devoirs d'un Buddha, et qu'il doit les remplir longtemps encore, malgr6 sa mort prochaine, laquelle ne d^truit pas son £ternit£; quoiqu'enfin on le repr^sente errant de son corps des Buddhas qui sont comme les images et les reproductions id^ales de sa personne mortelle, nulle part £&kyamuni n'est nommd Dieu ; nulle part il ne refoit le titre d'Adi-buddha.'

To this I have nothing to object, only something to add. It is perfectly true that S&kya does not receive the simple title of Deva; why? Because that title is far too poor for so exalted a personage who is the Dev&tideva, the paramount god of gods. So he is called in the Lotus, chap, vii, st. 31 and innumerable times in the whole range of Buddhist literature, both in P&li and Sanskrit 2 . It is further undeniable that the title of Adibuddha does not occur in the Lotus, but it is intimated that S&kya is identical with Adibuddha in the words: 'From the very beginning (ddita eva) have I roused, brought to maturity, fully developed them (the innumerable Bodhisattvas) to be fit for their Bodhisattva position[1]. It is only by accommodation that he is called Adibuddha, he properly being an4di, i.e. existing from eternity, having no beginning. The Buddha most solemnly declares (chap, xv) that he reached Bodhi an immense time ago, not as people fancy, first at Gayd. From the whole manner in which Skkya speaks of his existence in former times, it is perfectly clear that the author wished to convey the meaning that the Lord had existed from eternity, or, what comes to the same, from the very beginning, from time immemorial, &c.

S&kya has not only lived an infinite number of iEons in the past, he is to live for ever. Common people fancy that he entecs Nirv&wa, but in reality he only makes a show of Nirviwa out of regard for the weakness of men. He, the

Bumonfs rendering is 'De*va sope'rieur aux DeVas.'

Less frequent than devatideva is the synonymous devadhideva, e.g. Lalitavistara, p. 131; essentially the same is the term sarvadevottama, the highest of all gods, ib. p. 144.


  1. See chap, xiv, p. 295.